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Money can’t buy love, and Valentine’s Day gifting deserves consideration beyond clichés and tropes. What about bolstering your beloved’s well-being or bonding over some Galentine’s Day self-care? These needs feed our spirits and are an essential part of expressing affection and gratitude. Here are recommendations for Valentine’s Day gifts that will advance worthy intentions to foster meaningful connections and experiences.
Abundant Affirmation Mist
Never underestimate the power of scent to tweak the energy in a space or on the body. Pura Luna Apothecary, owned by Santa Barbara-based wives Christin and Ashe Brown, formulates each batch of mist by hand using all-natural ingredients. These pros also incorporate solar- and lunar-charged crystals and moon water into their mist as well.
Cheese Board Workshop
For anyone who thinks they can put together an Insta-worthy grazing board, a glance at Kori Jones’ social feed might make them reconsider. Signing up for a virtual workshop with the Simple Life Things board-styling maven will gorgeously elevate that next fruit, cheese, or charcuterie spread. Jones provides a supplies and shopping list, then it’s up to the participants to log on and learn her styling tricks, including how to expertly fold choice meats and fan out cheese wedges.
The Ritual Kit
Jisa Oh is on a mission to tap into her Korean heritage and experience being raised in Japan to offer accessible tools that support beauty, calm, and vitality through the Wellness East online store. Her ritual kit creates the foundation for daily habits that extend from sunrise to bedtime, including the deeply woodsy hako incense from the Okinawa Islands, a hinoki wood body brush, alpinia shell ginger glow oil for a gentle moisturizing touch, and a purifying Shikuwasa lime powder supplement.
Silk Sleep Mask
Upgrade those freebie eye masks from red-eye flights for a more transformative sleep experience. Whether for overnight travel or simply at home, a full-coverage silk sleep mask from the Drowsy Sleep Co. will help everyone — not just those sensitive to light — slip deeper into slumber. The masks are made of luxurious yet practical hypoallergenic mulberry silk, and the wrap-around design helps muffle out sounds for a total sensory escape.
The struggle can be real to settle into the meditation mindset. Hasu’s lotus-shaped meditation tables are 3D printed by the creative food techie wizards at Sugar Lab to dissolve on the tongue, thereby providing a point of focus to calm the mind and senses. There’s no need to worry about a potential sugar rush given the small amount —.2 grams, to be exact — in the ginger, mint, and vanilla flavors.
Family and friend groups of two to five players can enjoy analog edutainment with Underdog Games’ HerStory board game, which is rich in content and low on rigid rules. Each participant is cast as an author researching and writing the stories of 120 notable female figures — both known and lesser known — throughout history. A portion of proceeds of game sales supports the Malala Fund.
Product subscriptions are an ideal way to mix it up and keep things fresh. For the passionate tea drinker in your life, consider a monthly specialty tea shipment from Paru Tea Bar, which includes three bags of rotating loose-leaf varieties and special garnishes curated by the San Diego-based shop’s owners, Amy Truong and Lani Gobaleza. The pair draw on their own heritages and relationships with family-owned farms in Asia to devise their special blends.
Encourage outdoor escapes that promote a mental health boost with a pair of Apex Lite hiking shoes from Hi-Tec, the same iconic brand that Nelson Mandela famously wore when he was released from prison in 1990. The lightweight and comfortable hiking shoes are available in eye-catching color combinations at an accessible price point for all genders. After all, hitting the trail shouldn’t involve sticker shock.
When it comes to the Big Blanket, there’s only one rule: Get cozy. This oversize accessory is available in multiple colors and has an impressive 10-foot-square span, so couples, families, or humans and their animal companions can build massive forts, snuggle together during movie nights, or do whatever their hearts desire. It’s machine washable, so don’t be too stressed about enjoying that glass of red wine or piece of chocolate while curled up.
Canned Sparkling Wine
Caroline Juen has parlayed her culinary authority from her popular blog Love & Loathing Los Angeles into Best Coast Beverages, a new brand of canned sparkling wines. Whether for a Galentine’s Day brunch with friends or a romantic picnic with your lover, these easy-to-drink libations produced by winemaker Sonja Magdevski reflect Juen’s approachable attitude toward wine.
Jessica Ritz is a Los Angeles-based writer who has contributed to Architectural Digest, Bon Appétit, Coastal Living, Los Angeles Times, Palm Springs Life, and Los Angeles magazine.
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